The Richard Clarke Affair

By Mumia Abu-Jamal from death row

There is perhaps one thing more explosive than the
damning revelations of former White House counter-
terrorism chief, Richard Clarke; and that is the White
House's response to him.

With venom barely distinguishable from their attacks
launched a year ago against the Saddam Regime, the
White House has tried mightily to paint the 30-year
government bureaucrat as a knave, a traitor, an
incompetent, or a fool.

I may be off the mark, but the last time I saw
something faintly similar to this was during the Nixon
Regime, when a presidential assistant named John
Dean gave up the tapes on his boss.

Is this Watergate?

Hardly. Yet it *is* a dangerous attack on the
inner workings of the White House on an issue that,
just weeks ago, seemed like a sure-fire vote-getter
for President George W. Bush -- his handling of the
so-called 'War on Terrorism.'

If Clarke does anything, he shows that the White
House, at the highest levels, was fixated, obsessed
even, on the eradication of the Iraqi Regime; an event
that Clarke says is bound to make the War harder,
in the long run, by playing into the hands of the
jihadis (like Al-Qaeda) who have long preached that
the Americans would do anything to conquer the
oil-rich Arab States, to get their hands on the
'black gold' beneath.

White House attacks on Clarke have come with
a vehemence that is breath-taking.

He is derided as a 'partisan' who, they suggest, is a
closet supporter of the Democratic presidential
challenger, John Kerry.

Or, he wants to get rich with a juicy book deal ....

And, as usual, the media, ever hungry for the
latest scandal, is eating it up, lapping it up like a kitten
on a saucer of milk.

Lost in the sauce is logic.

If Clarke is anything, he is, and seems to have ever
been, a right-wing hawk.

He advocated the bombing of Afghanistani bases --
*all of them* -- long before 9/11; He advocated the
Israeli practice of preemptive killings (they call them
assassinations) of suspected jihadis, all over the world.

This guy, at base is a right-wing nationalist, who has
advocated actions that several Administrations
(including, it seems, the Bush I presidency) have
declined to do.

The idea that he is somehow sweet on Kerry seems,
on its face, ludicrous.

And book deals are hardly the way to make big
bucks; the average royalty covers little more than 10%
of the cost, and there's a slump in the industry, largely
driven by the larger slump in the nation's economy.

If Richard Clarke did not make, nor invest a decent
coin in 30 years of government service, sometimes at
very high levels, then it is the government that is to be
condemned for not rewarding such lengths of public
service, certainly not Mr. Clarke.

What Clarke confirms, however, is condemnation,

The White House, driven by the demon of ideology,
drove the nation to war on a lie.

Is the nation safer? Indeed, is any nation?

The Bush Regime has unleashed something that is
remarkably resistant to cluster bombs, and daisy
cutters, and even low-grade nukes -- hatred, deep,
and bitter, at the nations that have used false
pretenses to wage war, and humiliate an Arab

Iraq was never the problem; and as its feeble
resistance proved, it was never a threat to the U.S.

A year before the war, California's right-wing
Democrat, House Member, Tom Lantos, told
members of the Israeli Knesset, "We'll be rid
of the bastard (referring to Saddam) soon enough.
And in his place we'll install a pro-Western
dictator, who will be good for us and for you."
(G. Simon Harak, "Why Invade Iraq?",
*BLUEPRINT For Social Justice (Oct./Nov.
'02), p. 9]

You still think this War is in defense of

Hardly. It never was. It never will be. Armies
don't bring democracies; they smother them

[Mr. Jamal's upcoming work, *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, will be available
soon from South End Press, Cambridge, MA.


Copyright 2024 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Mr. Jamal has written widely about war and other issues. His latest work, *Faith of Our Fathers* (Africa World Press, 2024) was named one of "The Most Remarkable Books of 2024" by *Black Issues Book Review* (Nov/Dec '03).]


Mumia Abu-Jamal is also the author of three other books: 'Live from Death Row', 'Death Blossoms', and 'All Things Censored'.

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Copyright 2024 Mumia Abu-Jamal